MALTON & Norton Golf Club star David Hague helped Yorkshire seal the English Men’s County Championship for a 22nd time – snatching their victory by the tiny margin of half a game point at the end of three days’ intense competition at Aldeburgh Golf Club.

The title showdown against Gloucestershire was a nail-biter which ended in a halved match and meant the destination of the trophy was decided by the number of game points won by the two teams.

Yorkshire triumphed with 16 to Gloucestershire’s 15.5.

The Northern team amassed their precious advantage on the first day when they beat Lincolnshire 6.5-2.5 and captain Darryl Berry said: “I knew that half point could matter!”

They followed that up with a 5-4 win over BB&O (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon), while Gloucestershire also won both their opening matches, to set up the grand finale.

It was tight from the off, with the morning foursomes shared after a fighting performance from Gloucestershire, who at one point were down in all three games.

Hague and Ben Hutchinson posted Yorkshire’s first point, playing two under par to win 6&5, but Gloucs fought back.

Hague was quickly off the blocks again when he led out the singles on a chilly afternoon. He was five up on England team-mate Waite after nine holes and went on to win 4&3 to edge Yorkshire ahead.

But thereafter the tension ramped up, before the White Rose were confirmed as victors.

Berry summed up for his team when he said: “I’m so proud of them. People don’t understand how hard this is, it’s an endurance test as well as golf. But they have got their reward and that’s all that matters.”

Final placings: 1 Yorkshire, 2 Gloucestershire, 3 Lincolnshire 4 BB&O.